Perfect Rib Roast

Rib roast is a family favorite at Christmas and for special occasions. I've cooked rib roast many times and in many different ways which always left me stressing out on the outcome. Then I stumbled on a recipe that came out perfectly every single time. 

The Roast: This recipe is for a 6 lb roast, which is approximately three ribs. Increase your seasoning proportionally if you have a larger roast.

  • In the US, you want to select a roast labeled USDA Prime.

  • One rib per two people. I eat very little meat and Greg eats too much so this works out fine for us.

  • You might be able to stretch each rib to serve more if you're serving several other side dishes.

Fat Notes:  

  • If the butcher hasn't already trimmed it, remove excess cap fat. Be sure to leave some of the fat though. Less than half an inch but more than a quarter of an inch.

  • Weigh the roast after trimming to be sure of your cook time.

3 Hours before cooking: Rub coarse salt over the roast at let it sit on the counter at least three hours before you're ready to put it in the oven. (Place it high enough above prying dog noses.)

Seasoning mix: 

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons minced thyme
  • 3 tablespoons minced rosemary
  • Cracked pepper to taste

Other ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh garlic (2-3 cloves) sliced into slivers


  • Preheat oven 475 to 500 degrees (wherever your oven's limit is). Let it stay at temperature for at least 20 minutes before putting in the roast.

  • Mix the seasoning and set aside. 

  • Pierce flesh and insert garlic slivers.

  • Pour a small amount of olive oil, at least 2 tablespoons into a small bowl. Brush oil liberally all over roast.

  • Coat the sides and top of the roast with seasoning mix. Some people say you should put it back in the fridge for the crust to set, but I've never had a problem with the crust coming off, so I leave it on the counter until it's ready to go into the oven.

  • Place in a 500 degree oven for EXACTLY 15 minutes. Do not open the oven until the 15 minutes are up. This will set the crust.

  • Reduce heat to 325 degrees.

  • Cook roast according to your preferred level of doneness.
  • Rare: 11-12  minutes per pound.
  • Medium Rare: 13-15 minutes.

If it's cooked past medium, we can't be friends. Okay. We can be friends, but don't invite me for dinner. I'd only flavor the meat with my tears.


To make it easier to carve, slice the ribs off the roast BEFORE roasting, then reattach them with butcher's string so they can cook together. At carving, remove the string and ribs and carve the boneless roast. If you have a caveman in your house, he will swipe the leftover ribs as a snack while you're not looking.

Rib roast is an expensive dinner, but so worth it when it comes out right. After years of experimenting, this recipe gives me the perfect roast every time. 

How do you like your beef cooked?

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Mike Keyton said…
I’m tempted to go for a rib roast this Christmas/birthday so thanks for the tips. My dilemma is that I like it medium rare, but Bernadette likes it well done - cue Maria’s tears ��
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Fish it is then. LOL!